What is TURP for Enlarged Prostate?

March 29, 2020

What is TURP?

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a surgery used to treat urinary problems that are caused by an enlarged prostate.

An instrument called a resectoscope is inserted through the tip of your penis and into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). The resectoscope helps your doctor see and trim away excess prostate tissue that’s blocking urine flow.

TURP is generally considered an option for men who have moderate to severe urinary problems that haven’t responded to medication. While TURP has been considered the most effective treatment for an enlarged prostate, a number of other, minimally invasive procedures are becoming more effective. These procedures generally cause fewer complications and have a quicker recovery period than TURP.


  • Is TURP considered a major surgery?
  • What is the success rate of TURP surgery?
  • How painful is TURP surgery?
  • How many years does TURP surgery last?
  • What can I expect after the TURP surgery?
Is TURP considered a major surgery?

The prostate is a walnut-sized reproductive gland responsible for producing some of the fluid components of semen. The most common surgery for BPH is called transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP. During the procedure, surgeons remove the excess prostate tissue through the urethra.

What is the success rate of TURP surgery?

The 5-year risk rate for a reoperation following TURP is approximately 5%. Overall mortality rates following TURP by a skilled surgeon are virtually 0%.

How painful is TURP surgery?

You shouldn’t experience any severe pain, but there may be some discomfort and bladder spasms (contractions) from the catheter, which is left in place because your urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) will be swollen and sore.

How many years does TURP surgery last?

The effects of treatment last for 15 years or more. TURP does not remove the entire prostate. No incisions (cuts) are needed. The hospital stay is 1 to 2 days or until there is no significant blood in your urine.

What can I expect after the TURP surgery?

You’ll likely stay in the hospital for one to two days.

You’ll have a urinary catheter in place because of swelling that blocks urine flow. The catheter is generally left in place for at least 24 to 48 hours, until swelling decreases and you’re able to urinate on your own.

You might also notice:

  • Blood in your urine. It’s normal to see blood right after surgery. Contact your doctor if the blood in your urine is thick like ketchup, bleeding appears to be worsening or your urine flow is blocked. Blood clots can block urine flow.
  • Irritating urinary symptoms. Urination might be painful, or you might have a sense of urgency or frequent need to urinate. Painful urination generally improves in six to eight weeks.

Your doctor is likely to recommend that you:

  • Drink plenty of water to flush out the bladder.
  • Eat high-fiber foods, to avoid constipation and straining during a bowel movement. Your doctor also might recommend a stool softener.
  • Wait to resume taking any blood-thinning medications until your doctor says it’s OK.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, such as heavy lifting, for four to six weeks or until your doctor says it’s OK.
  • Hold off on sex for four to six weeks.
  • Avoid driving until your catheter is removed and you’re no longer taking prescription pain medications.

Urology San Diego provides comprehensive urological services for men and woman including the treatment of urological cancers, kidney stones, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), overactive bladder, incontinence, bladder prolapse, erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism.

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